Local non-profits finding ways to keep literacy programs up and running

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KING, N.C. — Local non-profits are finding ways to keep literacy programs running.

“Reading is some personal times I get to spend to my kids,” said father of two Derrick Vickers. “Both of my kids love to read. They love to go to the mailbox to see if there is a Dolly Parton book in there.” 

His kids are enrolled in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which is a program that sends free books to children every month until they’re five years old. 

“When they are little, simple things like holding a book help introduce children to the love of reading,” said Cindy Tuttle, executive director of Stokes Partnership for Children.

The partnership, like many local groups, has to raise funds for many programs, including the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

“In order to provide books for 100% of children under the age of 5, we have to raise private dollars,” Tuttle said.  

Because of COVID-19, their annual fall fundraiser BBQ for Books, which raised $35,000 last year, had to be called off this year.

Their plans now are to go virtual for 5 days highlighting the many literacy programs and assistance to families they provide.

“We are highlighting these programs through some digital content,” said Vickers, who also chairs the partnership’s fundraising. “Hopefully, they can get the message out there about how important early childhood education is.” 

Going virtual has worked for other rural partnerships like Randolph County. 

“We jumped on the virtual platform,” said Lisa Hayworth with Randolph County Partnership for Children.

The group teamed up with a local production company to stream their August fundraiser for more than an hour. 

“We did adjust our goal and raised about $45,000 gross, and we have crossed the $50,000 dollar threshold.” Hayworth said.

That’s the success Stokes Partnership is hoping for too. 

Stokes Partnership for Children virtual fundraiser kicks off Sept. 28 on their Facebook page.

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